Vienna Students Plant the Promise

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email
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UPDATE: 11/2/13 10:30 AM

Vienna Elementary Students planted hundreds of red tulip bulbs as they pledged to stay drug free during Red Ribbon Week.

The 2013 campaign theme, "The Best Me is Drug Free," seemed to resonate with the kids.

"I just want to grow up to be a healthy person,” says Bella, a fourth-grader. “I think it's pretty important because we should all live a healthy life."

They're making a promise.

Carter, a fourth-grader says, "We’re doing it so when kids grow up that they won't do drugs and stuff."

Encouraging students to do the right thing.

"We hope as they continue to be members of our society and our community here, it will be a constant reminder of the pledge they made as an elementary school student,” says Principal Julie Handley.

It raises awareness and lets kids understand the dangers.

"If you're not drug free then when you grow up you might have problems,” says Chloe, a fifth-grader.

Joining the effort 15 years ago has proven beneficial.

"I’ve been here long enough now as an educator, I taught here -- that I have several of my former students that are now parents whose children go to school here,” Handley says. “So I can definitely say that it has had an impact."

Bella has just one wish.

"I think it's a fun project for everybody to do -- and I hope everybody grows up to be drug free,” she says.
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Vienna Elementary students plant hundreds of red tulip bulbs as they pledge to stay drug free during Red Ribbon Week.

According to the National Family Partnership, parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Principal Julie Handley says it's important to instill those values in kids.

"I've been here long enough now as an educator, I taught here -- that I have several of my former students that are now parents whose children go to school here," Handley says. "So I can definitely say that it has had an impact for many of our people."

When the flowers bloom in the spring, she says it will be a visual reminder to the students of their pledge.

As they continue to be members of society, hopefully they will remember the pledge they made as elementary school students.


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